Dino Rossi appointed to succeed late state Sen. Andy Hill

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Dino Rossi, a two-time Republican candidate for governor and former GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, has been chosen to fill a state Senate vacancy left by Sen. Andy Hill, who died of lung cancer in October.

The King County Council on Monday appointed Dino Rossi, who had previously served in the state Senate, to become the 45th Legislative District's state senator. The 45th district includes parts or all of Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, Duvall and Woodinville.

The council selected Rossi from three candidates nominated by the King County Republican Central Committee to replace Hill. The others were Kirkland City Council member Toby Nixon and Redmond aerospace executive Joel Hussey.

Rossi will serve through the end of 2017.

Rossi, who was a state senator from 1997 through 2003, was known for his work on the state budget. He says he's willing to fill in for Hill, but won't campaign for the seat. He ran for both the governor's office and for U.S. senator.

Rossi ran for the governor's office in 2004 and 2008, both times against Democrat Christine Gregoire. He also ran against Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in 2010, but lost that race, too.